Issue #3 Love - the magazine, that is - is just over a year old, publishes only twice annually and each issue retails for an intimidating $16.95. Oh, and it's just about the most fabulous thing in the dead-tree universe right now, especially among the fashionista set. The latest issue of the London-based magazine, which runs to 336 glossy pages, is sure to be a collector's item just for its cover alone.
Make that covers. The issue comes in eight different covers, in fact, and if you collect 'em all (which Love editor Katie Grand is urging, natch) it's going to set you back almost $136, exclusive of taxes. The big deal here is that each of the covers features one super-model, photographed in black-and-white by photogs du jour Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, with each woman occupying precisely the same full-frontal position. Did I mention that all the models -- and they include Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Amber Valletta - are completely naked, save for the stilettos in which they're standing and some artfully positioned "censor bars" applied after the fact? Well, they are.
However, once you're inside, the gals are there in all their "junior-high jackpot" glory, as we used to say in the Pleistocene era. Patriotic sort that I am, I bought the cover featuring Canada's Daria Werbowy, 26 (seen above). Asked to complete this sentence, "Your body is a…" she answers: "Tool. A 12-piece Black & Decker set."
April 2010 We've all seen, either in museums or reproduced in books or magazines, the bronze sculptures of French master Edgar Degas, the most famous Little Dancer Aged 14. What's interesting about the bronzes is that none of them were cast, let alone exhibited during Degas' lifetime (1834-1917). Furthermore, Degas apparently left no instructions that the wax and clay sculptures he did create during his 83 years were to be rendered in plaster or bronze posthumously. All the bronze casts we know - and they reportedly number more than 1,500 - derive from a decision Degas' heirs made at the time of his death to take 74 of about 150 wax/clay works they found in his house into bronze.
Or so the story has gone. Right now the art world is in convulsions over claims that, in fact, at least 74 plasters were cast during Degas' lifetime. Moreover, a series of bronzes already have been made from them, some of which are being exhibited in European galleries this spring and summer. The lifetime plasters were purportedly found sometime after 1980 in a foundry outside Paris. If true, then, some believe, the new bronzes are more "authentic" than the ones we've known all these decades. Others, however, argue that the "recently discovered plasters" were made long after Degas' death. William Cohan vividly and thoroughly explores the controversy here.
Quill & Quire
April 2010 Happy birthday to Quill & Quire, which has been assiduously covering the "perilous trade" known as Canadian book publishing since 1935. Who knows what books are going to look like even five years from now, but I like to think that Q&Q will be there, helping to make sense of it all.
The latest issue is very much forward-looking rather than laurel-resting. Among the highlights is a fine piece by contributing editor Shaun Smith on the Canadian e-book market, pegged to the arrival of the Kobo eReader, Canada's answer to the Kindle, the Sony Reader, the iPad et al. The eReader is supposed to be in Indigo stores here and in Borders outlets in the U.S. by early summer, with a retail price of about $149 (U.S.) That's more than $100 cheaper than the suggested retail price for the Kindle. Is it true that BlackBerry creators Research in Motion are the manufacturers? Smith doesn't say.
Elsewhere, the magazine offers an anatomy of last year's collapse of McNally Robinson and its recent emergence from bankruptcy protection. Plus there's a reminiscence by Burlington, Ont., bookseller Richard Bachmann, who recently sold his well-regarded indie operation, A Different Drummer, after more than 25 years in the biz. "I do not believe booksellers are blacksmiths" for the 21st century, he writes. "My colleagues needn't yet enroll as exhibits in a heritage museum."